ABQ RIDE Bus Passes Helping APS Students and Families

Passes Used for Truancy Prevention, Helping Visually-Impaired and Family Needs


It’s spelled out in Albuquerque Public Schools’ Truancy Prevention website: “Regular attendance is an important factor in a student’s achievement at school…Missing just two school days a month makes a student more likely to drop out.”

Regularly getting students to school is just one reason why the City of Albuquerque and ABQ RIDE has provided bus passes to Albuquerque Public Schools since 2010. Last fiscal year (FY16), the biggest recipient of bus passes was APS’ Truancy Prevention program, which received 500 of them.

“We’re proud to be in partnership with Albuquerque Public Schools to make sure students get every opportunity to not only attend class but also excel in school,” said Mayor Richard J. Berry. “APS’ studies show if students regularly make it to school, they’re more likely to stay and graduate.”

During the past fiscal year, ABQ RIDE provided a total of 639 bus passes to APS schools for a variety of student needs. 44 of those passes went toward the district’s Visual Impairment Unit. It provides support to APS students who’ve been diagnosed as visually-impaired or blind.

Hope Varela, a truancy prevention social worker for APS at Atrisco Heritage Academy High School describes how the passes have helped one student, who because his parents had lost their jobs, could no longer afford the monthly bus pass to get to school. And getting a ride from friends wasn’t always reliable, either. His grades began dropping and he lost credits to graduate.

Varela said once that student got a monthly bus pass, “We were able to not only get him to school, but also enroll him in evening classes to catch up on credits.” Varela added “the student graduated last spring. I saw him working at a local retailer, so appreciative for the assistance that got him a diploma that got him a job.”

And not only students benefit. APS says they have many adults with small children who take public transportation to get their children to and from school. They say the bus passes have also helped parents become more involved in their children’s educations.

“These bus passes have made and continue to make a critical difference to families in need,” said Bruce Rizzieri, Director of ABQ RIDE. “This is part of the commitment of ABQ RIDE employees to provide a service that makes a difference in the lives of those students and their families.”

APS Schools Utilizing ABQ RIDE Bus Passes in FY16


Elementary Schools                       Middle Schools                     High Schools

Alamosa                                              Cleveland                                Albuquerque

Apache                                                Kennedy                                   Atrisco Heritage Academy

Armijo                                                 John Adams                             Del Norte

Duranes                                               Polk                                            Eldorado

Emerson                                              Van Buren                                Highland                                

Hodgin                                                Wilson                                         La Cueva        

Lowell                                                                                                        Manzano

Los Padillas                                                                                             Rio Grande

Whittier                                                                                                      Valley

Ventana Ranch                                                                                        West Mesa